I was amazed yesterday morning when I woke up and heard that AT&T was laying off 12,000 employees. 12,000. That is, by all rational accounts, a buttload.
When I got into work, Mr. Wonderful IMed me and said he had received an email from the president of his company alerting him to an 850-person layoff. Then moments later, he wrote back saying, “I know who they’re laying off now: Me.”
My heart stopped. He had been planning to go freelance in February, but still! What a shock!
He said he had to meet with HR and I waited anxiously, chatting over the cubicle walls with my coworkers, until he returned.
What he told me upon that return, changed my shock to awe.
Mr. W works for one of the big movie studios. And he was under contract for his position, which means they have to pay him through the duration of that contract. Which means he’s receiving benefits and salary through October 2009. Rat bastard.
He can go freelance now with a huge cushion under him. Why the studio would want to do that, I have no idea. Essentially they are paying him not to work. Makes no sense whatsoever. But he is psyched about it.
My company (one of the big guys on the Internet) is laying off about 23% of its workforce next Wednesday. I’m feeling pretty secure about my position, but I’m not at all looking forward to the aftermath. In addition to losing people I care for and enjoy working with, if I am one of the ones left standing, I will inherit the workload of others who were let go. Sorry, I know—stupid reason to complain. That’s a fortunate “problem” to have. Oy, I hope the economy turns around in the New Year…